The quality schemes
The protection label guarantees
compliance with production methods
Europe boasts a vast and varied gastronomic heritage: the typical European products are synonymous with excellence and quality. It often happens, however, that these foods are subject to imitations and that qualitatively different products from the originals arrive on consumers’ tables.
Therefore, the geographical indications are aimed at protecting agri-food products and safeguarding their production methods, providing consumers with clear information on their characteristics. In this regard, the European Union intends to protect the names of specific products, promoting their uniqueness linked to their geographical origin and fair and constant uses over time.
Product names can be granted a ‘geographical indication’ (GI) if they have a specific link to the place where they are made. The GI recognition enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products while also helping producers to market their products better.
Label recognition by the European Commission only happens after a long technical and administrative process. Controls and investigations continue even after the attribution of the denomination through the control activity of the certification bodies and the supervisory activity of the protection consortia.
European quality schemes:
the PDO, PGI and TSG labels
PDO – Protected Designation of Origin
The DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) label identifies a product whose territorial and cultural origins represent a peculiarity to be safeguarded.
Each phase of the product’s production, transformation and preparation process must be in the specifically identified region: its characteristics derive essentially from that particular geographical environment and its natural and human factors.
The strict regulation reserved for the PDO label guarantees the consumer constant control over the product: the traceability of foods testifies to their entire production process, ensuring continuous monitoring.
In Europe there are more than 600 PDO labelled products: a large number of these foods are cheeses and dairy products, highlighting the fundamental role of this sector in the great universe of European excellence.
PGI – Protected Geographical Indication
The PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) label identifies a product originating in a specific place, whose geographical origin attests to quality, reputation and other specific characteristics.
Unlike the PDO label, the PGI denomination requires that at least one of the product’s production, transformation and processing stages must take place in the reference region.
TSG – Traditional Speciality Guaranteed
The TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) label characterizes products that follow specific production methods and traditional recipes. The ingredients and the production process of these products, even in the broadest sense, make them real specialities, regardless of the geographical area from which they come.
Their specificity in fact concerns the production, done according to the traditional method, which differentiates them from all other products belonging to the same category.
To obtain the TSG designation, a product must have existed for at least 25 years.